Until the posthumous publication of the Millennium Trilogy, Stieg Larsson was probably best known for his commitment to left-wing causes, and his tireless work as an anti-fascist activist. Horrified by the rise of far-right extremism in Sweden, he threw himself into monitoring and exposing these often shadowy and violent groups and gained an international reputation for the depth of his achievements and knowledge. However his work carried substantial risks and he and his partner Eva Gabrielsson lived in constant fear for their lives. When a friend of theirs was found shot dead in a stairwell, police raided the killers’ hideout and found photographs of Stieg and Eva – chillingly, they were the next targets. Jan-Erik Pettersson shows how Stieg’s activism and energetic championing of social justice and women’s rights characterised his life, as well as demonstrating how these concerns animated his huge-selling Millennium Trilogy, in particular the unforgettable character of Lisbeth Salander.
He also persuasively establishes Stieg’s place within the explosion of Scandinavian crime with which his novels are so closely associated, showing that in many ways his fiction stands somewhat apart from the work of other authors in this tradition. In Stieg: From Activist to Author Jan-Erik Pettersson portrays a man willing to put his life at risk in order to fight for the things in which he believed, and an author whose inimitable work was energized by the causes to which he was so strongly committed.